Who We Are
As City Pad’s co-founder and CEO, Andy is responsible for overseeing all aspects of operations for the current portfolio, as well as strategic oversight of the company’s growth. Prior to founding City Pads, Andy Ahitow was the co-founder of Chicago Apartment Finders, where he refined his entrepreneurial skills and grew the business to 5 locations with 150+ employees, which, at the time, was the largest leasing company in Chicago. During his tenure at Chicago Apartment Finders, Andy leveraged his intimate knowledge of Chicago’s rental landscape to form a development partnership with Marc Realty Residential where, as Director of Development, Andy oversaw the development of approximately $338M of real estate assets. He also expanded Chicago Apartment Finders into property management to manage the rapidly growing portfolio. The success of Chicago Apartment Finders was recognized by NRT, the largest real estate brokerage company in the world, and in September 2015, Andy sold the company to pursue and focus on his own development projects.
Following the sale, City Pads was founded with a vision of developing residential properties that matched Andy’s own personal attention to detail with forward thinking projects that focus on the high expectations of modern renters looking for convenience and style that is also affordable for Chicago’s workforce demographic. In the 5 years since its inception, City Pads has acquired and developed 15 projects worth approximately $125M in real estate value.
Prior to co-founding City Pads, Daniel Zivin was the founding partner of KZF Development in Northbrook. Beginning in 1987, KZF developed, built, and sold over $375M in luxury real estate, including single-family homes, multi-family townhomes, duplexes and commercial office buildings on Chicago’s North Shore. In 2015, Daniel sold KZF Development to his partners enabling him to pursue and focus on multi-family residential rental apartments in Chicago.
Daniel has a dynamic vision and a passion for luxury developments, which has enabled City Pads to acquire and develop over 15 developments worth approximately $125M. Daniel oversees all aspects of the operations of the company.
Prior to co-founding City Pads, Elliot founded Empact Construction Services, a full-service general contractor focusing on multi-family, residential rehab, commercial and ground up construction. Empact Construction Services has completed over $40M of construction projects in the last 13 years. In addition, Elliot founded ZO Holdings, LLC and grew a portfolio of multi-family and single-family properties around Chicago and the suburbs with a value of ~$7M.
Elliot channels the same knowledge, drive and passion to the City Pads venture and is aggressively pursuing potential deals for the company. Also, Elliot provides construction knowledge and oversight to the City Pads organization.
Prior to joining City Pads, Ewan Dickson established himself one of the top leasing agents at Chicago Apartment Finders and in his first 4 years generated over $1MM in residential leasing commissions. As the company created a development partnership with Marc Realty Residential, Ewan was able to parlay his knowledge of Chicago’s rental market to become a valuable member the investment team. Using his knowledge gained from working directly with consumers, Ewan was able to engineer multi-family investment deals through value-add opportunities focused on market needs and tenant wish lists.
Ewan leveraged his experience in the leasing industry with Marc Realty Residential and moved to the principal/developer side of transactions when Andrew Ahitow, Daniel Zivin and Elliott Offenbach co-founded City Pads. As Director of Acquisitions, Ewan oversees all aspects of the pre-development process, from analyzing zoning and underwriting new developments to their highest and best use, to creating equity offering memorandums and debt financing books. Ewan’s knowledge of the multi-family rental market has helped grow City Pads to 15 assets over the first 5 years representing 400+ units and $125M in real estate assets.
Jason Tennenbaum spent his 18-year real estate career responsible for the development and operations of real estate finance, development and investment companies. Jason co-founded Winmor Capital Group, a real estate investment and finance firm focusing on upscale residential real estate investments and developments. Winmor’s mission was to bring financial capabilities in house on complicated development and repositioning projects secured by a network of strategic partners. Specializing in underwriting, debt and equity structuring, and financial management for development projects in major urban markets across the U.S., Winmor projected as an early adapter of the increasingly popular on-demand, job based professional services sector providing developers with CFO expertise without the long-term commitment.
Prior to Winmor Capital, Jason founded a private real estate investment company focused on the acquisition and rehabilitation of traditional multifamily assets in Chicago, including the development of a real estate management platform under which to operate its approximate 1,000 units under management. Focused on mostly B & C class infill neighborhoods, Jason’s experience in working with a variety of social service-based housing programs and financing platforms informs his understanding of the affordability and diversity initiatives integral to the City Pads concept.
Jason specializes in forecasting investment outcomes for debt and equity financing and analyzing risk-adjusted investment metrics for investors. He brings experience in underwriting, capital stack structuring, financial reporting and management operations to the City Pads team.
After 25 years acting as construction site supervisor and project manager, Chris Steiner collaborated with long-time associates to found City Pads Construction. Chris’ attention to detail and overall knowledge of multi-family residential construction, commercial and residential rehabilitation and ground-up construction have made him a key player and asset to City Pads Construction.
Chris is dedicated to providing clients the best construction renovation/build experience possible by applying his extensive knowledge to deliver client’s plans within budget, on-time and with superior quality.
With an extensive administrative background, Cory brings solution-orientated thinking to the planning, direction, and coordination of day to day business operations of City Pads Construction. As the Office Manager, she helps to implement and maintain all financial, project tracking and human resource record keeping systems. Cory strives to provide the highest support to clients and the team throughout the construction process.
Adam graduated from Illinois State University in 2019 with a business degree focused on Organizational Leadership. He started with City Pads in early 2020 and looks forward to long-term growth within the company. Currently, Adam assists in the asset management of City Pads entire portfolio, worth approximately $125M in real estate value. Adam regularly communicates with property management services to ensure all properties are operating at exceptional level. He collaborates with contractors to ensure property maintenance remains above-par. Adam brings a fresh set of skills and abilities to City Pads and is excited to apply the knowledge he has obtained through schooling. Being born-and-raised in Illinois, Adam is excited to see the city of Chicago continue to grow.
Danielle has worked the last 8 years in the real estate development industry with Andrew Ahitow. She joined City Pads in 2015 as the first employee.
Danielle assists in the handling of all aspects of the projects; from facilitating the closing, processing all construction draws and related paperwork, to providing all due diligence material for buyers or lenders of the completed projects. She has worked with several local and regional banks to successfully ensure all projects are completed in a timely manner. Danielle has the knowledge and experience to handle multiple projects of varying complexity.
As City Pad’s general counsel Robert (Bob) Strauss brings 20 years of legal experience to the City Pads team, joining April 2019 after representing City Pads as its outside counsel since its founding. Bob’s real estate acumen includes purchasing, selling, developing, financing and leasing real estate, and his clients have included developers, syndicators, investors, and property management companies. On the banking and corporate finance side, Bob has for some time represented clients in the negotiation and documentation of myriad types of secured and unsecured transactions, including transactions secured by real estate, asset-based transactions, and project finance transactions. He has expertise in permanent and construction financing, revolving lines of credit, and syndications. He brings to bear his knowledge of the corporate law arena, including governance and business formation for nearly every type of entity.
Bob serves as a trusted advisor to his clients, counseling individuals and businesses on a variety of issues. He has substantial experience in representing investors and entrepreneurs.
Bob received his J.D. in 2000 from Chicago-Kent College of Law, with high honors. He earned his B.S. in Biology/Pre-Medicine from the University of Illinois.